tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN September 20, 2015 11:01pm-12:01am PDT
bx, home again. >> and vacation over, as we headed home to our regular beds, our daily lives of school and homework and ordinary things, maybe my little brother would wake up and look out the window at the night sky and suddenly it would fill with stars. and golden mist and we'd pretend for a second we were somehow deep inside the milky way. a million winking lights, but we knew where we really were. we were almost home.
regular issues forth greatness. new jersey has beaches, beautiful beaches. and they're not all crawling with roid raging trolls with reality shows. i grew up summering on those beaches, and they are awesome. jersey has farmland. beautiful bedroom communities where the woman does not live for anyone like her, even the refineries, the endless clover leaves of turnpikes and express ways twisting. to me, somehow beautiful. to know jersey is to love her. fortly, some of governor christie's minions, allegedly conspired to jam up traffic for a few days.
it's a town with joke can i historic of corruption. it's also where my beloved h i.r.a. m's is. they still honor tradition. >> my happy place. sometimes i need that old time flavor. it seems like a true food. >> it's a great point of fine and personal satisfaction. i've convinced my daughter these are the finest hot dogs in the land. she gets very excited to come out here with me. that makes me very happy. thank you. thank you. these toothpicks, just like 1958. some things just shouldn't change. my dad gets the relish. i love this stuff. look at that beauty. oh, yeah.
i come here to feed my soul. the cultural wellspring that is new jersey. it's a anecdote to every other place. this place is perfect. there are not a lot of people in this world courageous enough to not change. down the shore, yeah, we actually talk like that. it was what we did. go down the shore. not just our family near the bridge, but middle class and working class families from philly and all over who would pack up the kids in the station wagon for the seemably
interimable trip to long island. >> it always took extra hours to pack the car. >> once we were over the bridge, the excitement would ratchet up. ship bottom, then surf city, harvey cedars, love ladies, ticking off the town times until finally, finally, banigat light. >> these are all new. that's original. >> definitely. >> i think i know who lived there at one point. >> and that's definitely old school. >> let's face it, it's been how many years? 40 -- jesus, we're old. the lighthouse. >> remember going to that place a lot of times? >> the good old days. i want some fried clam strips. >> absolutely. >> our options are limited, but
holy crap, this place is filling up. >> i think it's because it's the only place. >> but who lives out here year around? >> we're about to see every single one of them. >> let's be honest, when we come here in the summers, i was the bad one. >> yes. your recollection is correct. >> i was up to every variety of criminal and anti-social behavior. i didn't smoke dope for the first time year. i was looking for it. but as a 12-year-old, it was hard to come by. >> i vaguely remember you walking off with some kind of cute girl. >> first kiss, an important passage. >> that's good. >> it is. >> i realize now that i hitchhiked regularity. i'm going to go down to ship bottom with some friends. how are you getting there? hitchhike down. okay. have fun. >> that was all. all the kids for hitwere hitchi. that's how you got places here.
>> summertime. do you know that sound? just out of the water. ears pressed up against the beach blanket, the squeak of bare feet on sand nearby. classics illustrated comics waiting for me back at the house. i'd play with my little plastic army man in the dunes. and there's a smell of beach grass in the dunes. you know, can you remember it? >> i still crave it. i love it. and on special occasions, clams and drawn butter. no matter where i find them now, they always bring me back here. >> remember this place with nothing but fondness. i can't remember a single bad memory here. >> it was great. >> people you knew were here. your parents didn't need to be with you. have a campfire on the beach at night, set off fire crackers, all the stuff they wouldn't let you do at home. >> the beach would look
different for a couple of days, it would be a weird, foamy surf, frothy bubbles. or the jelly fish deliveries. >> infestation of jelly fish. >> that yearning of being with other 10-year-olds, alone on the beach at night. it was great. >> i love clam strips. these are great. >> this is awesome. so far, so great. >> i'm happy. battered fish and good tartar sauce. what were your favorite activities? >>over turning the life guard stand, had to go. >> representatives of the man. >> fire crackers on the beach. i had some in your car, by the way. >> let's set them off at the elevator at the casino. >> perfect.
it was paradise. america's first dream vacation. the beach as far as america was concerned, meaning bathing suits and swimming in the surf was pretty much invented here. atlantic city, rich, or working class, it was here for you. back then, you dressed up to walk the board walk. it was capitalism at its purest and most assertive. it was a democratic dream, designed from the beginning for everybody. flashy, utilitarian, upright, deeply unapologetically, corrupt. the knife and fork in was right there through it all. in many ways, its story, a perfect reflection of changing times, established in 1912, as a so-called gentleman's dining and drinking club, the second floor originally had curtained alcoves and a separate lady's lounge, private rooms on the third and
fourth floor were set aside for games on chance and perhaps other activities. vickie gold levy's dad was a photographer. he saw it all, and by extension, so did she. >> what was it like here as a kid? >> it was fantastic. walking down the boardwalk in the summertime was like walking in a carnival in the midway. the noises. >> there were still remnants of the 20s. >> yeah. >> that sensibility and look. victorian graphic design and immigration. a weird stuck in feel time was very much in evidence even in my time in the early 60s. the boardwalk was over six miles of parades and pageants, and never-ending carnival. >> every place you went down the boardwalk was something else to see, and all the stores were mom and pop stores. all very unique. >> the world famous steel peer.
amusement arcades, saltwater taffy. >> i loved the joke shops. it was a wonderland of juvenile delinquency. plastic dog crap and smoke po d powder. it was sinister and forbidden. my parents indulged me when i was here. the menu has changed a bit. for vickie, pan-sered sal lops. >> my memories are largely built around the times before. i remember a magnificent structure. >> you and i like the no stal ja j but i don't know about the young people. >> beautiful buildings are beautiful buildings. there's no place with this kind of history and legitimacy.
this place has deep romantic allure. >> i agree with you. i believe in the transition that's coming. i do. >> the businesses you talk about that used to be here, it's not like it would be great if that happens again. it's inevitable it will happen again, and it's worth fixing. atlantic city can be chic. the sell tkeleton of the city i beautiful. >> i'm glad you feel that way. >> there's beautiful old things in young people, a beautiful old restaurant with great food, for instance. is much more interesting than a glass box with good food. ♪
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dreams as you pass by. mansions mixed in with two family houses, cheap takeout, the footprints of a lost world. still there, if you look between. with jet travel in miami and an expanded highway system, things decline, as they do, but a few visionary geniuses presented a solution. a cure that would overnight make everybody well. make atlantic city shiny and new, and prosperous again. men, like donald trump. >> i think it's going to be very pen official to everybody. we look toward to operating the taj mahal successfully for many years to come. >> vast construction happens. eager to tap in to what would be a never-ending gusher of p
prosperity, casino gambling. >> it was going to bring it back to the glory days, did that happen in. >> you drove around today. do you think it's better now? do you think it helped? >> no. i don't. >> new jersey native dribrian d hue don hew is a reporter that to kw focuses in new jersey. still here, still great, a symbol of what atlantic city was and could be again. >> to bring atlantic city after a decline is a complicated process. casino was seen as an easy answer. >> it seemed like a good idea. >> that would put in 12 casinos and bring in everybody from the top down. it hasn't worked. when you have just 12 casinos. >> and if you're looking for an example of living like lurch
toward a shiny new clip face toward which to tumble, look no further than this $2.4 billion goat radio. the rebel. it opened in 2012 and closedless than two years later. the most expensive casino in new jersey history. >> what were they thinking? >> short-term money. and at a time when all these casinos are opening all over the east coast. >> it's economics 101. casinos by design neglect the city's existing assets. salt air, a walk by the glorious north atlantic, the greatest of all the earth's bodies of water. the classic attractions, the restaurants. >> this is what it's going to take for it to come back, places like this. celebrate the ghosts. >> some nice crab cakes at dock, a big lobster, those things are
bad for business, the business of taking your money. >> thank you so much. >> lovely. that'll work. >> i don't want to sound like i'm down on atlantic city because i think it's an incredibly hopeful place, so whatever left of it should be to my mind, hung onto, because they're going to come around. there's nothing funny about losing all your money, yet casinos are steady employers of that hard-working specie of employee. these are two of the hardest working people around. >> i drove three exits on the jersey turnpike. it was $7. if you drive a whole new jersey turnpi turnpike, when you get to the
end, you have to give them your car. >> i'm going to tell you guys something that i don't generally tell people right away. i'm a vegan. i'm passionate about it. it's about eating a protein free lifesty lifestyle. i do cheat a little. i eat veal. so good and tender. how do they get it like that? >> i'm very sentimental about jersey italian, specifically spaghetti and meat balls. >> i've never had a bad meal here. >> i know exactly what i'm going to get. >> i didn't get the meat balls. proud long-time residents of new jersey in. >> no. i've lived here nine years but only proud the last two, maybe. it took me a long time to get -- >> get up to speed? >> born and bred. >> my whole life. >> he won't leave. >> when was the last time you played atlantic city? >> there was a club at the sand.
many times i would work and have to work for three because i lost it all. there's no worst feeling. it's a nightmare. >> have you ever watched a couple in atlantic city. hold this money. don't give it back to me no matter what i tell you. no i don't care what i say. an hour later, give me my money. i'm not fooling around. you're lucky i brought you here. give me my money. you're the reason i'm losing, touching my arm. >> is there a jersey sense of humor? >> yes. i love jersey audiences now so much, because i've never said anything where people have gone oh, they never get offended. >> we all have our words that we don't like, the ones that affect us the most. my trigger word is no as a white woman. i don't hear it that often, but when i do, uh-huh. >> here's the deal, people land and drive up the turnpike. they don't turn off and go up into the -- >> they see the refineries.
>> that's new jersey. >> i think it's beautiful. >> more horses per capita than any other state. >> it's the embroidery capital of the world. i don't know where that's happening. >> i almost bought an embroidery company. >> no way. >> this is a taste of my youth. for all of the marvelous things about new jersey, will keep ever come across the bridge and the tunnel in the other direction? >> no. i did not have to think about that. let's go out to club in jersey? >> no. >> it's all relative, a 25-year-old guy is saying we're not going to jersey. a 60-year-old says i'm getting out of the city and moving to jersey. >> there's your answer. >> we're just hitting this stop at what age? >> hipness is overrated. >> i love living here. pine valley, the best golf course in the country. trump has a beautiful course here. >> trump, i'm not a fan.
>> who is? every minute that he walks here demands a certain complicity the not shout out will you look at that ridiculous-looking head. it's like if you have a disfigurement, that agreement that i'm just not going to bring it up. that's too much to ask of me. i want to scream. >> they put his names on the buildings so the banks know which ones to take back. at least he's a humble guy. [ laughter ] to clean the oceans, to start a movement, or lead a country. it may not be obvious yet, but one of these kids is going to change the world. we just need to make sure she has what she needs. welcome to windows 10. the future starts now for all of us.
>> there are few american cities, places where things have gone as wrong as camden, new jersey. it's like the poster child for everything a city could screw up. once a manufacturing power house, home to the new york shipbuilding cooperation. theab theab the campbell's soup company, and rca records. a company town. about 80,000 people live here today. that's the same number of people who were employed during its heyday. nearly 40 % of the city's high school students don't graduate. the entire police force replawe placed by the state. more than one-third of city residents live below the poverty line, voter turnout, not good. if there's any place one could be forgiven for giving up, it's
here, but, no. cities with serious problems need extraordinary people. and tawanda jones is clearly an extraordinary person. >> when you give to someone, special when they're really in need, it makes me feel complete. >> her late grandfather was a former military man, an employee of rca and an a body guard for a boxer. >> he was the protector. if you need anything, you go to mr. dynamite. that was his nickname. >> he also believed in being part of the community. >> when she was 18, she was asked to lead a local drum team. he purchased drums to give them a start. ♪ >> today, css, the camden
sophisticated sisters drill team, which includes the brothers and taps, the percussion sound have over 320 participants. >> good job, babies, clap it up for yourself. clap it up. we meet a neighborhood stal wart, tony. still doing what they do. >> it doesn't get my better than this. >> what was it like back in the day. >> i didn't have to worry about my life being threatened coming outside. the neighborhood everyone knew everybody. that sense of community was strong back then. >> you're talking about your childhood as if it was a long time ago. it wasn't that long ago. >> right. >> what went wrong. >> people blame it on the politics but that's too easy. many have failed our children. it's up to parents to get
involved in your kid's education. know what your kid is doing. >> you're putting it on the parents? >> absolutely. >> this is tasty. >> this is delicious. >> conventional wisdom seems to be getting out of camden. why are you here? >> the need is in camden. if every decent person in camden leaves, we never have a chance. they have to maintain a c average or better. it's all about their academics. it's about nurturing these kids. what's right and wrong? the drill team does that. it's a start without a finish. it is possible. >> if i can believe, i can achieve it's possible. >> they say it until it's embedded. >> she's helped css support itself from assistance with temporary help and do nations have small businesses but surprisingly for a group with a national profile, no lasting support from official organizations or national
institutions, public, or private. yet, she perseveres. >> a lot of your practice is outdoors. >> we've been under bridges, everything. over 28 years, we've been outside. their safety is the most important to me, but it's been a blessing and a curse. you'll have the corner boys come up and ask you, have r you asking practice outside, and they're like today's not a good day. i'm like okay. thank you very much. >> that's nice. >> right. and i appreciate it. trust me. >> how do you get the kids off the corner? >> i'm quite aware that times are hard, but i just try to show them an alternative route. some call me major pain. it's out of love. they need that discipline to go to work and to go to school. >> they're doing it because it's fun? >> right. >> but it's hard. you're asking people to do a hard thing, and they're doing it. >> yeah. >> and i have to ask, i'm going
to guess that in the years that you've been doing this, you've had to have had your hard broken many times and see kids who believed in fall by the wayside. i'm guessing a lot. how do you go on? >> we do have a lot of sad stories, but the good outweighs the bad, and i keep going just for that reason. you know? before i was a little hard on myself, and i used to actually think that i could save all the kids. i know that's not the case. you me, i just do the best that i can do. and i pray the next kid doesn't fall by the wayside. >> how do you not become cynical? do you harden your heart? >> no. i have to replenish myself or i'm not good to them or my own family. these kids are like precious cargo to me.
some of them have the responsibility or a 30-year-old can. they're holding down their homes and they're only kids. no kid should have to go through that. >> 25 years down the road, what do you think camden will be like? >> i'm praying that it turns into the camden that i remember. and i know that i'm helping our future leaders to become a part of that change. i'm very hopeful. there's no doubt in my mind that there is going to be a positive camden, no doubt. >> you're going to stay? >> i'm not going anywhere. my pop pop didn't leave. i'm not leaving. >> yeah. i know. philadelphia is right over there. right across the ben franklin bridge. the center of the cheese steak universe, but what if it isn't? they're better than that. they're bigger than that, and the best cheese steak in the area might welcome from new jersey. donk
donkey's opened by leon lucas, 75 years ago. a heavy weight contender in boxing, he was known during his time in the cavalry as the don can ke donkey. >> they said he had the punch of a kick of a mule. >> his son runs the joint now, and this is what they do here. behold, the jersey cheese steak. >> pleasure to meet you. >> this is the place. the best cheese steak in south jersey. >> in new jersey. >> is there a difference between jersey and philadelphia style. >> we do ours on a kaiser roll. >> i'll have one of those. >> anything i need to know? >> no. cheese and onions. >> it's round. it has steak, onions, american cheese, and a poppy cheese roll. fantastic, and it is sublime.
relish? >> that's hot pepper. a little will do. >> i drove a long way for that. thinking about it the whole way. >> good. man, just be like national landmark right away. this is unbelievably good. >> thanks. >> really a thing of beauty. >> that's good to hear. worth driving across the state in a blizzard for. >> do they change the plates on their car and wear a disguise? >> it's different. the poppy seeds help it. >> it's delicious. i think we learned something here today. jersey cheese steaks. i'm not staying they're better than philadelphia -- yeah, i am, actually, so there. this is great. >> glad you enjoyed it. at&t and directv are now one. bringing television and wireless together.
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the forest and empty spaces of new jersey are vast. and often empty of everything but legend. you live here if you like a quieter life of not being messed with. 1.2 million acres of atlantic cedar, swampland, forests. it goes on and on, seemingly, at times forever. it's easy to get lost. ♪ >> when i was a kid, as we passed through the pain barrens on the way to the shore, we joked about the strange, possibly inbred tribes of people who lived there, somewhere between the trees. that was what we believed, anyway. paul evans, peterson, jeweler, musician, author, and proud
piny. we meet at the friend lieu seal yes, sir. >> the legend was mother lead had 12 kids, found herself pregnant with the 13th and said may this child be a devil. there are many legends told about it, but that legend says when the jersey devil was born, it flew up the chimney and was gone into the night. other legends say it killed everybody in the room. you have people who say they've seen horns on it. it breathes fire. it has a long tail with a triangle. >> it sounds like my little pony with a fork tail. >> it supposed to have big red eyes with the head of a goat. >> the goat is a little scarier. ♪
>> at night, he'd put wings on and flew out into the night ♪ ♪ say he's still hearing screams when the conditions are right ♪ ♪ yeah, i wear it's true ♪ these pine barren blues >> what's out there? who are pinies? do they roam the forest searching for souls? >> they live in the pine barrens. there was a time years ago when if you had called someone a piny, you'd have been shot. now they embrace it. >> how do you make your living?
>> it's good to form blueberries and a lot of clamming and fishing. the bay supported a lot of jobs. the pine barrens have been settled for a long time. some of the first people that came here were the glass makers and saw this incredible sand we have here called sugar sand. perfect for making glass to the point it didn't have to be washed or processed. there was hundreds of glass works. they're just ruins now. >> thank you. so it's not like the rest of jersey here in. >> no. and i hope it stays like it. it's like a jersey unto itself. a long drive to get anywhere. >> that's good, by the way. >> isn't it great? >> ♪
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thing? welcome to asberry park. wellspring of music of a certain kind, home to, yes, the boss, and the jersey national anthem, born to run. ♪ springste springsteen, bon jovi, little steven, but before them, there was south side johnny who created the template for the jersey sound. a place and really it could have only been this place that changed music and lyrics forever. >> it's had a reputation as being a happy hunting ground for musicians. a lot of bars? >> a lot of bars. it was a tradition of bands playing here. it was started to not that
alcohol or that kind of music, but after a chiwhile, the press was too much. most bars don't hire musicians or bands. the jersey shore wants entertainment. there's people here on vacation in the summer. >> atlantic city didn't have that reputation. >> we're not atlantic city. >> as i always like to say, good is good forever. great music, great sole judngs. and here they honor that tradition of ham, salami, tomato, roasted peppers, oil and vinegar which soaks into the soft baked bread and marries it all together into deliciousness.
>> they slhred the lettuce and everything. >> my father would order a pastrami sandwich. we would share it. my brother ate eggs and bacon. he was a real trencher, but he could eat. >> like atlantic city with whom it had so much. the beach is empty, sad and forlorn place. unlike atlantic city, they fought to fix itself to become, again, the kind of place that anybody would want to live in. they didn't look for a magic bullet like casino gambling. to a great extent, they've succeeded by keeping alive what made asberry park special. they held onto what was important. like this place, where any overgrown child still wants to
play. >> thank god. what? tilt? oh, no way. that's delicate. hit, baby, hit. oh, man. these are tough. oh, this is important for children. i think so. your first exposure to racy images of women are all set in an alternate universe. it also teaches you shame and humility when you lose. >> exactly the limits of how much you can break the rules before it tilts. >> i think they should have tilt for all sorts of things. >> i think so too. step over the line in a bar talking to a young lady? tilt. that way you have to start again. i tilted it already. i barely touched it.
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>> as i like to say, good is good forever. the atlantic aegs will always be magnifice magnificent. looking at it always a humbling, even educational experience. it teaches us that men come and go, but no matter how foolish or outsized their dreams, how badly they screw up, what we do hear at the ocean's edge, the sea will outlast us, will always draw us to her edges, when necessary, it will crush us. >> we look at the tide.
it's completely oh blif yus to everything going on around here. and look at that hid yus building. >> i notice all the lights are out. look at it. it's tump, or rump. >> it's perfect, if you think of it as carnival barker, it attracts empty. it's a perfect metaphor here. >> i hate sweets, but i'm a sucker for nostalgia. you can't go back. i can't go back. i wouldn't even if i could. i sure don't want to ever have to be a teenager again, but those tastes and smells of childhood, they work still.
>> now, you're telling me you're not a big salt water taffy fan. >> it was hard to chew. >> you had braces. >> i don't remember if i had braces at that point. >> i don't like candy generally, but these have a mystery cal hold on me. even the color of the wrapper, like there should be weird music playing in the background. ♪ . mo lassis. i remember that. the peanut, i know exactly what that tastes like. i remember the vanilla really powerfully. i'm not even a vanilla guy, really. i'm more of a chocolate guy. >> i think i remember pink ones, so they must have had strawberry. >> winter green, i remember. >> that's good. >> peppermints.
>> keep these in the car. >> does it melt? >> that's a lot of taffy. >> yeah. this stiff isn't that -- eat as much as you want. >> is it gluten free? >> it's all natural. >> that's what i thought. atlantic city will never die. good is, indeed, good forever. and atlantic city will be great again. asberry park, camden, all of my home state. i'm convinced when the tide has come and washed all the greed heads away, we'll once again many magic.